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Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a disorder in which a person may experience a pattern of unstable personal relationships, a poor self-image, and low impulse control in areas such as spending, sexual conduct, driving, eating, and substance abuse. Additionally, the person suffering from BPD may experience feelings of chronic emptiness and fear of abandonment and feel driven to go to great lengths to prevent this abandonment and fill the emotional void.

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The clinical presentation of Borderline Personality Disorder varies widely and can be very vague and difficult to diagnose. This is definitely a condition that needs expert assessment and it is extremely important to see a healthcare professional with experience in BPD to obtain an accurate diagnosis.

Symptoms may include:

  • a pattern of undermining oneself just as a goal is about to be achieved
  • psychotic-like features, especially in times of stress
  • a history of suicide attempts or self-harm
  • a history of substance misuse.



    The cause of Borderline Personality Disorder is not known for certain although there are some suspected contributors to developing this condition.

    Psychosocial studies reveal a high prevalence of childhood trauma (eg physical and sexual abuse), early separation or loss, and abnormal parenting in patients with Borderline Personality Disorder.

    Biological investigations suggest impairment of neuropsychological function and dysfunctions of specific neurotransmitters and electrophysiological mechanisms.



    The aims of treatment are to:

  • provide stability and support to prevent or reduce self-destructive behaviours;
  • enhance functioning (in the short term),
  • improve the consistency of functioning and stress tolerance (in the long term).

    Medications would rarely be prescribed for the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder (although they may be prescribed for related conditions such as depression which is often present in people with BPD) as there is virtually no evidence (other than clinical anecdotes) to suggest their helpfulness.

    A therapy called “dialectic behaviour therapy” has been developed specifically for treating Borderline Personality Disorder. ‘Psycho-educational therapy’ which is designed to improve the patient’s understanding of specific symptoms and to help the patient to develop less impulsive and emotionally over-reactive responses is also commonly used.

    Other forms of therapy which have been found to be useful are:

  • Psychodynamic therapy (including transference-focused psychotherapy)
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Group therapy, which may be effective in a few patients.



    The information provided here is intended as an overview only. The following is a list of websites that provide more detailed information.


    The factual information on this page was compiled from:
    What Is Borderline Personality Disorder? (http://www.mental-health-matters.com/articles/article.php?artID=54)
    Borderline Personality Disorder(http://www.borderlinepersonalitytoday.com/main/) and
    DSM-IV Criteria (http://www.palace.net/~llama/psych/bpd.html)

    by people who are experiencing borderline personality disorder.

    Please send us your comments and experiences with Borderline Personality Disorder to share with others.

    To whom ever reads this .....I have been assess as having Borderline Personality Disorder by the mental health team in my area.

    My experience is as follows-----

    I flipped out after being under family stress for some timeand my husband (at 42yrs) had a heartattack(no warnings). He is doing OK at the moment. Back to me , at the time of flipping out I did not know what was happening to me but knew something was wrong. I persisted with life , in general, as well as I could for about 1 week. A series of events then took me to the mental health services in my area resulting in hospitalisation for about 2 weeks.

    At first the assessment was clinical depression with other factors with it ( suicidal tendencies & psychotic behaviour).

    Many years of counselling with their resident phycologist helped me to eventually discover some traits of behaviour that have helped to shape my thinking and reactions to certain situations( not all of them good patterns but some worth keeping).

    It has been nearly 8 yrs since flipping out and I think in the main I am doing well, I still have slip backs but have some things I can do to minimize the risk of over reaction.

    From the time of admission to hospital( a mental hospital- public) I have been taking medication. First for depression only then readjusted over time to anti-depression and psychotic meds

    I feel that in many cases of Borderline Personality Disorder people medication may be of assistance with regard to stabilizing extreme behaviour. To say that medication is not necessarily used under these circumstances is to say that medication should not be investigated when in fact( in my experience) it can always be an option.

    Obviously there is more detail involved in my story but that may come later.



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